Module 3. Unit 4. Collaborating through open data

The growing importance of open data and the consequent need of constantly updated resources has made data collaboration increasingly relevant.

Open collaboration is a process through which participants from different fields can share, analyse and discuss open data, based on a common interest towards a specific objective, which makes the collaboration continue until it is satisfied (Canares, et al., 2017). Collaborating through geo-data is also fundamental to make appropriate decisions, for instance for urban and regional planning, environmental management, emergency preparedness and response.

Cloud computing is a technology offered by some organizations, called Cloud providers, using the Web to share resources. The most common application is SaaS (Software as a Service), that is the provision of services in the format of apps (Maida, 2019).

Though we may ignore it, cloud computing is present in our everyday life and has clear advantages within the learning environment, facilitating data sharing. Yet the process implies new challenges, for the risk of losing data, data leaks, privacy violation, which has raised many concerns over time (Warwick, 2016).

In 2012, the European Commission published the Communication “Unleashing the Potential of Cloud Computing in Europe”, followed by the creation of the “European Cloud Strategy”. The European Cloud Partnership (ECP) and its Steering Board aim to promote the development of cloud computing services in Europe (Bolognini & Pelino, 2014).

The activities proposed in this unit are aimed to spur reflection on the use of cloud computing systems and other resources to collaborate on data.


  • choose the most appropriate open data tools for co-constructing and co-creating data, resources and knowledge
  • vary the use of the most appropriate open data tools for collaborative processes.

DigComp Competence area 2.4 Collaborating through digital technologies